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3rd ASEAN Digital Ministers Meeting: Exchange of Views on Development in the Digital Sector

Shangri-La Boracay, Malay, Aklan

February 9, 2023

3rd ASEAN Digital Ministers Meeting: Exchange of Views on Development in the Digital Sector

Your Excellencies, ASEAN Secretary-General, Senior Officials, and delegates from the ASEAN Member States, a pleasant day to all!


The Philippines is very honored to host this 3rd ASEAN Digital Ministers Meeting and Related Meetings. We thank everyone for being able to join us here in the very beautiful island of Boracay, and we hope that you get to enjoy what it has to offer.

Anchored on this year’s theme, “Synergy Towards a Sustainable Digital Future”, and in line with the ongoing implementation of the ASEAN Digital Masterplan 2025, the Philippines has set out four (4) priorities. First is Safe Cyberspace: Regional Cooperation for Cybersecurity Knowledge and Skills Development. The rapid development of technology comes with accompanying risks that prey on the vulnerable and threaten the progress that each of our nations have worked hard to achieve. Cyber threats can be aimed at critical infrastructure that can affect basic government services, national security, and economic activity. The cyberspace is borderless, thus, our collective action is vital to create a digital ecosystem that is secure and safe for everyone. As we harness the benefits of digital emerging technologies and trends, we must also heighten our defense against the risks that come with it.


Priority number 2 is Citizen-Centric Governance: Development of a Regional Stocktaking Process for Digital Government Solutions in ASEAN. The pandemic has caused the great pivot to digitalization, and it has made us realize our limitations to enable a smooth transition to a highly digital environment. We need to have resilient ICT infrastructure. Our online systems have to be supported by robust, secured, and resilient database systems that can handle the sudden surge of online transactions at any time of the day. We need to educate and train our citizens on how to safely access this new environment. Our laws and policies need to be updated to support digital governance initiatives. Further, we need to identify digital systems, processes and infrastructure that have been proven effective by our respective governments, thus the importance of exchange of knowledge, technical expertise and best practices among ASEAN Member States and even by our dialogue partners.

Priority number 3 is Digital Inclusion: Increasing participation of women, youth and other sectors in ICT with focus on policy engagement, improving digital competence and fostering inclusive future. Digital transformation comes at a great cost to those who are economically and digitally challenged. Thus, we need to make sure that in this shift to a “new normal,” no one is left behind. We have to make sure that our different sectors of society are included in the digital transformation and shift to the online world.


Lastly, Priority 4, Innovation-Driven Economy: Creating and Strengthening ASEAN Strategies to Support and Develop Innovative Startup Ecosystems and Promote Digital Innovation Across. As the shift to a fully digital economy is laid out for us in the ASEAN, we have to also identify innovative ways of developing our economy further. We need to harness the creative minds of our people to generate more wealth for everyone. We need to find innovative ways in sourcing new capital to fund our economic activities, innovative processes to transact in whatever platform our systems and databases may be operating; we need groundbreaking ideas to make our supply chains and logistics capable of supporting our shift to a fully digital economy. Thus, we can say that the ASEAN community is achieving its vision of a digital economy that is secure and with transformative digital services, technologies, and ecosystem.


Thank you and Mabuhay!

Anna Mae "Anime" Yu Lamentillo Logo
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